Aafat-e-Ishq is quite fresh in terms of the central idea. It features a unique angle that is highly relatable because of its small-town setting, beliefs, lore, and quite a unique ending with Japanese folklore adapted to Indian storytelling. Positioned as a romantic comedy horror, this film suffers as the elements overshadow each other and don’t blend in well.

While pure horror may fall flat at times, sometimes resulting in comedy, director Indrajit Nattoji opted to carve out a fusion of the two genres. However, we can box these films as comedies due to the absence of the bone-chilling horror element. It is actually just a romantic comedy where the horror falls flat.

While the Aafat is largely absent throughout the first half, it is there enough to prompt Lallo to question herself and why anyone she gets close to is no more. 

Aafat-e-Ishq 2021

Initially, Aafat-e-Ishq reminded me of Ruskin Bond’s Susannah’s Seven Murders. However, our protagonist isn’t as vindictive as that character. The innocent one seems lost and confused and desperately wants to ensure that no one is harmed. As the bubbly yet single small-town girl, Neha Sharma plays Lallo quite well. The accent matches, but at times it feels forced as certain words get mispronounced with the accent whilst others don’t. It’s as though it was a forced mispronunciation. However, apart from that, she conveys emotions such as angst, confusion, sorrow, and helplessness well and you begin to feel for her character’s plight in the last quarter. 

Despite Lallo having the most screen time, she doesn’t steal the show. That honour goes to Namit Das’ Atma. He pops up dances, mimes, and even provides a slight hint to his nature with a non-verbal cue right at the start. We witness his true acting prowess towards the end. But the big question is whether you will struggle to get to the end of this film. I certainly did. 

Also, Read – Heads And Tales [2021] ‘zee5’ Review: An Average Tale Of A Confused Addressal Of A Serious Subject

Based on the premise and the genre, the director may have played with your knowledge of films of the same genre. Does anyone remember how, at the start of horror films, happy people enter a location? Yup, you get those vibes here as well. 

But then, in a bid to be different, it all went wrong. The dates and attempts to find someone are downright painful to watch and not even amusing as things get recycled in the film. What can be seen as sweet innocence turns boring as the film progresses and you can literally place bets on a timestamp on the film for something to happen. At this point, horror buffs are waiting for the horror element to burst through. These fans may just click exit in frustration. 

At least Bond’s novel had unique methods of getting rid of the husbands. Well, Nattoji and co-writer Neha Bahuguna just seemed to have run out of ideas to connect the premise to the climax. 

The latter’s dialogues get overshadowed by Gaurav Chatterjee’s music that gets stuck in your head. Even the Death Metal that serves as Vikram’s personal background score cannot take that away.  

However, in a business where visuals play a key role, Shreya Gupta’s lens successfully makes us think that Lallo is indeed the Lal Pari with majestic framing. It presents the viewers the question- was she transforming and losing herself slowly?

In Aafat-e-Ishq, the makers could have replaced the horror background sounds with a laugh track like from the show Just for Laughs: Gags. They were gags, slipping on a lemon, losing one’s footing on water. Just amusing. The sight of Inspector Vikram Kamal listening to rap music at the start is highly out of place. But towards the end, you may like it, as it just adds a beat to this meandering and repetitive effort. 

Films like Aafat-e-Ishq need to be glad that they have the fortune of streaming releases, as they will be easily accessible to niche audiences. This one isn’t for many. Even those that could appreciate horror, romance, or a fusion of the genres may not like this film. That’s mainly because it doesn’t get to the point quickly and it doesn’t even set up the big reveal in an intriguing manner. The acting, the music, the few visuals, or the unique idea alone isn’t enough to make you stream this one. Combined, too, it just doesn’t warrant your time. 


Aafat-E-Ishq is now streaming on Zee5


Aafat-E-Ishq Links – IMDb
Aafat-E-Ishq Cast – Ila Arun, Namit Das, Deepak Dobriyal, Neha Sharma, Amit Sial

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